I‘m two thirds of the way through Stepping Stones, Dennis O’Driscoll’s interviews with Seamus Heaney, which effectively constitute an autobiography. (So expect the Heaney tag in the sidebar to keep getting bigger.) It’s like reading in High Definition. There are some spectacular moments, like Heaney’s description of a visionary experience among the skyscrapers of Manhattan, […]
Heaney nails R.S. Thomas in on of the Stepping Stones interviews with Dennis O’Driscoll: He got very far as a poet, a loner taking on the universe, a kind of Clint Eastwood of the spirit. Hilarious. As well as accurate and affectionate. If there isn’t an R.S.Thomas collection called Unforgiven, there should be.
I have an especially happy memory of writing ‘Bog Queen’ Because it was the first time in my life, believe it or not, that I’d spent a whole uninterrupted work day on a poem. Before we moved to Wicklow, you know, my time wasn’t particularly my own: there was always the Queen’s job, or the […]
How about this for a piece of verbal magic in Heaney’s elegy for a ‘favourite aunt’ (in District and Circle): She took the risk, at last, of certain joys — Her birdtable and jubilating birds, The ‘fashion’ in her wardrobe and tallboy. Look how hard the word ‘jubilating’ is working here — except it’s not […]
Magma 36 is out now – we’re delighted to welcome Anne-Marie Fyfe as Guest Editor for this issue. She has selected poems around the theme of ‘Inscapes’, including new poems by Seamus Heaney, Billy Collins and Medbh McGuckian. As well as the star names listed above, Magma 36 continues our tradition of publishing many new […]